The problem with some workouts is the motions do not often fully simulate the sport one is training for. Not that exercising is worthless, or that running sprints is going to hurt your baseball pitch. My goal with this workout was to simulate a few things we deal with in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. If you're unfamiliar with BJJ, it is a martial art involving grappling. During sparring one is often trying to squeeze the ever-living shit out of their opponent's neck. At other times desperately trying not to have the same done to you. As you can imagine there are times of intense, high-speed scrambling for position or moments of slow, crushing, exhausting fights to escape a pin. We can enhance our scrambling speed with ladder drills, sprints, box jumps etc... The low-speed, smashing is a bit harder to simulate. Today we'll be addressing squeezing, scrambling and crushing.
Each week I've been incrementing the workout times by 2 minutes. This allows us to increase intensity without dying. It also gives noobs a chance to jump in, without exploding. Even if we get to 30 minutes, the workout is adaptable and can be broken down to smaller time segments for beginners, while leaving the rest to the advanced guys.
Here's what we did(I'll try to explain my madness):
1. Triangle of Doom (ToD) - I set up a triangle shape on the mat with three 10lb miniballs. The triangle is as large as the mat area, with about 12 feet inbetween the balls. As you stand there infront of one of the balls, the 2nd ball is 60 degrees to your front right. If you were to run to that ball, still facing forward, the 3rd ball is 60 degrees to your front left. Basically I made a two angled zig zag.
For this exercise, one keeps their shoulders parallel to the garage door. Squat into a low grappler's stance, palm touching the first ball. Sprint in forward right, JUMPING over an old kick shield on the floor, squat and palm the 2nd ball. Immediately change directions to forward left, JUMPING over another kick shield to squat and palm the 3rd ball. Turn around 180 and go back the opposite direction. The key with this workout is to sprint, jump, squat all the while keeping the shoulders parallel to the garage door. This is a 3D motion, forward, up and diagonal!
2. Ring hops - This is a bitch. Grab the gymnastics ring with both hands. Step back a few feet, straighten arms, squat, then jump! Jump high enough to punch down with both hands until your arms are straight. If you bust your head into the ceiling, you jumped high enough.
3. Grappling dummy guard drill - A surprisingly difficult movement. Lay on your back, and guard(wrap legs around) up the grappling dummy. Hug the dummy and grip a 25lb plate tight to it. Lean left until your are on your side. Right foot underhook the dummy, lean right until upright. Lift the dummy with your right hook, switch to the left hook, right foot guard wrap. Lean to the right, left leg comes over to complete the guard. Repeat, backwards to the left. This was one of those funky ass mental/physical combos which confused the hell out of everyone.
4. Bulgarian Bean Bag Spins - This one sucks. Assume a wide-ish stance; feet about shoulder width apart. Grab the bag with both hands on one end and chuck it into the air rotating it 90 degrees...catch it. Whip it back into the air 90degrees, catch it again and keep going. Every 360 degrees, reverse direction. The exercise attack the grips, the arms, shoulders, legs, butt, pancreas and something else I'm sure.
5. Grappling dummy spins - Guard up the grappling dummy and grab two 15-ish lb kettle balls(preferably homemade). Shoot your arms straight in the air. So far so good. Now, start rotating the grappling dummy 180 degrees. Without using your hands, and without resting your arms on the mat. You may use your elbows and forearms to help manipulate the dummy. After 180 degrees, spin in back the other way. This is an obnoxiously difficult task. My goal was to create the sensation of drowning under a gigantic bag of lard...and that's exactly how it felt to me.
6. Guillotine Choke Hangs - Pure 100% testosterone fueled mental exercise. Get rabid and latch onto the hanging bag with a Guillotine Grip (not Gable!), lift your feet off the mat. DO NOT GIVE UP!
Ok....so when I demonstrated this stuff, the looks were of disbelief and of concern I had forgotten to take my meds. Originally, my poor math skills had me state 2 minutes each, with 30 seconds of rest....TWICE. Yet, my cohorts reason (I call it mutiny) stated that would be 24 minutes and certain death. Woops, I don't want anyone to die, so...ok two rounds of 1 minute each exercise, with 10 seconds of rest was negotiated (14 mins total). Pansies.
So how did it feel after roughly 14 minutes (12 min work + rests) of exercise? It felt like I was steam rolled into the hot pavement! Certainly one of the most intense workouts we've ever had. Mostly in the realm of muscle fatigue. Heart rate was good, but it didn't feel all that horrific.
Here's the heart rate data. Oh wait... I totally screwed up and lost my data... MY FAULT! I think I jabbed the start button on my watch on one of the exercises early on. Sucks. Oh well.
We also had a noob join the ranks for a try. Sucker! We'll call him Martian.
Here's Martian, two seconds into the ToD, all hibbly-bibbly like a cat. He wasn't happy afterwards though...especially since he got home late and had to suffer the wrath of the wife...oops sorry! Next time(if he comes back), we'll get him out the door first.
Martian under the bag.
MiniBrock on the bean bag...taking nap :)
The Dude damn near putting his head through the ceiling.
The Dude fighting off the grappling dummy.
Numbnuts dangling off the bag
The Four Grips of Doom.
At the end...the look of, "Fuck, that sucked!"
Another workout partner. He's doing the Tarantula drag. In record time!